Nelson Sauvignon (Nelson Sauvin Brut) | Mikkeller ApS

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100 Reviews
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Nelson Sauvignon (Nelson Sauvin Brut)Nelson Sauvignon (Nelson Sauvin Brut)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark | website

Style: Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in white wine barrels.

Added by Parrotshake on 05-16-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
100
Ratings:
337
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
17.73%
 
 
Wants:
124
Gots:
71
For Trade:
6
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Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 337
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sampling at Bar Volo. A malt liquor with lots of fruitiness. Very Good drinkability for such high alcohol. Peachy coloured body with a little head and lace. A big bold taste, grape, apricot. full mouthfeel. Sour fruit aroma. A worthwhile big beer to try.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange-brown with a 2 inch puffy orange-white head that settles to an island of foam. Foamy chunks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of fruit (grapes, apples), white wine, and a sour/funky aroma from the Brett. Taste is funky and bitter right off the bat with some grape-like fruit flavors coming through on the finish. There is also a dry woody quality that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a very bubbly carbonation which I assume is a direct result of the Champagne yeast used in this one. Overall, this is a good beer and my first of the style but I wasn't expecting it to be so funky and bitter in taste based on the aromas.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

this is one of those white whales for me, something ive been hunting for forever and finally acquired. much anticipation here. it pours an orangey hued light bronze color into my flute, with some aspects of the champagne style carbonation, rapidly rising bubbles and a hard to control white head, but its not quite as excited as I expected it to be, and it does settle rather quickly. the smell is really complex and different, funky yeast, chardonnay or some other fairly standard white wine, citrus bitterness from the hops, and a yeast strain that is unfamiliar to me. the taste is refreshingly hoppy. the nelson sauvin variety offers a lot of fruity characters, some tropical, some citrus, all delicious. its cool because while it does provide all that fruit, it retains a high degree of bitterness, a testament to the hops versatility and to mikkellers talent as a brewer. the yeast has some funk to it, and the bitterness in the finish is lemony. a lot more wine shows up from the barrel treatment that expected, and pushes the flavor more towards a 50/50 hybrid than anything else. maybe not quite as complex as the nose, but its definitely got a lot going on. wholly unique. the mouthfeel was a little lacking for me. a biere brut needs to have nuclear carbonation throughout, and this one doesn't. it starts pretty high, but it fizzles out before my glass is gone. the body is nice though, medium and smooth, punctuated by flashes of bubbles. overall this is a very interesting creation, maybe not quite as good as I wanted it to be, but its really a remarkable brew.

edit: definitely changes a lot over time, and there is absolutely a little batch variability here, but thats to be expected. other experiences have not been quite as good as the first.

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Photo of metter98
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that hardly died own.
S: Moderate aromas of barnyard funk from the brett are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has some sour flavors along with notes of white wine from te barrel aging process.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and a little tart and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I thought that the brett and white wine barrel aging make this beer interesting and a lot easier to drink compared to other beers in the style. It hides its alcohol very well.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Incredible fruit presence backed by powdery Brett character and a high phenol presence- this wine barrel aged ale is one in which to be reckoned.

Pouring deep amber, the look of winter honey comes to mind. Copper and tawny- the beer is lightly hazed as it releases an ivory white head that caps the beer confidently and recedes with broken lacing patterns- It has a very charming look!

Strong phenol and earth presence exudes from the beer's aroma: horse blanket, pepper, spice, peat, and medicinal notes all come alive in a strong melange of soil, caramel, and honey. Surprisingly, the challenged scents come together in a very rich tobacco-like sweet herbal-ness.

To taste, the beer's sweetish upstart gives way to a breath of earthen tobacco, tea, bruised peach, pear, and apple matrix at its apex of rich taste. Following, the taste of spicy peppercorn, peat, weathered wood, leather, tobacco and light band-aid all ensue to capture the supreme balance to the sweet and fruity upstart. But as the beer concludes, it leaves the palate rewarded with deep earthen wood tones with wine-like influences.

Medium throughout, the beer's tendency is to be dry as a bone. But its caramel and fruit beginnings provide the unresolved sweetness that prevents the ale from dryness that it sorely needs. Its close of powdery wood and earth accompanies the expected medium warmth to give a lasing memory of spice, cedar and wine astringency- its a miraculously sculpted mouthfeel even if it favors early earthen sweetness.

I love the wine influence, the Brettanomyces, and the tobacco notes that the ale generates. Surprisingly, the medicinal notes that ensue don't detract from the taste as much as I would have expected- the ale is quite masterful even in its flaws.

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Photo of largadeer
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What's this? Two good Mikkeller beers in one week?

Doesn't look like much, pouring a muddy amber with a head that quickly settles to a thin film.

Musty, vinous nose; a lot of white wine and brett, the former lending a mix of pineapple and leathery funk. Has a bit of a champagne character, too, and lesser notes of green apple.

The palate has a gentle acidity, big vinous flavors and juicy, fruity, leathery brett notes. Pineapple, white grapes, light earthines; a lot of depth here. Alcohol is well hidden. Brett lingers in the finish, which is quite earthy and leathery, slightly chalky. Really nice stuff, one of the better Mikkeller beers I've tried.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml black foiled, caged, and synthetic corked Burgundy wine bottle (once you remove it from the well-wrapped black paper covering). I like the label's lit cartoon bomb, ready to blow up the unspecified contents of New Zealand, Belgium, Denmark, and Austria, all integral to the contents of this offering.

This beer pours a cloudy, dark apricot amber hue, with some visible swirling sediment, and a teeming tower of tightly rocky off-white head, which sinks away in no great hurry, eventually revealing a nice patchwork of honeycomb lace around the glass. More beer than champagne, at this junction.

It smells of funky, musty, tart, fruity, and acrid hops. Same descriptors, but this time for the yeast. Phew. Lots of stuff wafting out of the glass, and it's all fairly well integrated - nothing dominates to the detriment of others. Beyond that, there's some further apple and pear notes, to go along with a so far unloved, but steady, pale bready malt. The taste is still rather funky, but evenly so, especially in light of the Marlborough white wine apery of the hops and the same in the particular German wine barrel treatment. Further tempering the deal are some nice independent citrus hop notes, and a still sturdy, soft, and unassuming pale malt.

The bubbles, well that's where the weight should come down for this style, no? Here, we have a depleted, weak, flabby effervescence, so I'm calling shenanigans, but it shall still fulfill the expectations of this piece - the body is a decent medium weight, a wee bit clammy, but otherwise agreeably smooth. It finishes just off-dry, the funk and identity-challenged bitterness doing well to parry any of the limited charms of the nondescript malt.

Well, not a bad beer from Mikkeller, as is the general trend, but this is no Brut, BA. A bang-up BSPA? Sure, why not? However, I'm quite glad that I didn't break out the stemware for this one - the standard pint glass or pick-your-Trappist branded chalice will do. This is just too brutal, in a good way, but not for the style, so drink it for that reason, and not the intended one. Me, I'll be sticking to the veritable French, grape-based stuff, when I get married next week. Glad I got this one out of the way first.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a bright cloudy amber color ale with a large dirty white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of Brett notes with funky yeast and light dry vinous notes is very intriguing. Taste is also dominated by dry vinous notes with grassy notes and some funky ester with what seems like Brett notes – extremely complex and somewhat hard to do justice of the taste with my descriptions. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very complex while retaining good drinkability level. I would love to have this one again in the future.

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Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with paper cover and hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into a Fort Collins Brewing pilsner glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a four finger head of decent cream, pretty good thickness, and excellent retention (especially for the ABV). This head really holds up impressively well. Colour is a nontransparent murky copper.

Sm: HEAVY white wine, light crystal malts, bacteria, and wild yeast. Smells legitimately wild, not sterile and cultured (see Funkwerks). It's quite appealing, albeit mild in strength.

T: Dominant white wine is the dominant flavour from the open, with notes of wild yeast and bacteria beginning at the midpoint and continuing through the finish. The finish is delightfully sour; I'd like more of it to break through the tame foundation but it never does. All around it's balanced but timid. No alcohol comes through. The white wine doesn't add as much as it should; it should've been stronger a la Mikkeller Black Hole White Wine Barrel Edition. Instead, it's a weak unremarkable flavour that leaves me wanting more.

Mf: Smooth and wet - too much so. A touch too thick for the limited amount of flavours. This bothers me.

Dr: Drinkable but largely unremarkable and disappointing considering the brewery and white wine usage. I expected so much more. You could quaff it, but it's certainly not sessionable. I wouldn't get it again, especially at the exuberant price it's sold at in the USA. Wouldn't pair well with food. Hides its ABV well.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a clear light orange color with a good white head. Moderate amount of white lacing. Nose carries light white wine plus some funk. A bit earthy with mild funk. Light acidity comes through in the flavor. Light body with effervescent carbonation. Really quite good. Probably my favorite Mikkeller beer to date.

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Photo of chinchill
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Large shared 2009 bottle.
Mellowed and blended aging effects but likely past prime.
Murky light brown body with a thin bubbly head. Moderately strong and very complex aroma.
Rich and complex flavor with hints of chocolate, dark fruits, apple cider, and faint spices.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this, Richard.

A: The beer pours a lightly hazed golden-amber color with a soapy white head.

S: What is this? A Mikkeller beer that smells good? White wine and unripe melon give this beer a very fruity nose. There's a slight catty note, which I find in a lot of Sauvignon Blancs. A bit of grass as well as hints of lemon and oak.

T: This is actually lightly hoppy with some citrusy notes. A lot of green melon, peaches, lemon, and grapes. There is a nice sweet flavor, hints of grass, and some tannic oak.

M: Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation.

O: I was very impressed by this one. The wine flavors really came through and added a pleasant flavor to the beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a not completely clear amber with a thumb of tan head. Stellar lacing, nice head retention & dropped bright

S: Grassyness, grapefruit rind

T: Follows the nose, some tartness/sourness out on the edges as well up front. More grapefruit, sourness, & grassiness as this warms, a little orange peel as well. Finishes a little dry, crisp & a little tartness & plenty of grapefruit

MF: Medium body with lively carbonation

Drinks very easy, a well put together example of the style, the price however, makes it a one & done

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Trxxpaxxs for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 6. It pours a sunrise amber, with a mild haze (like the light mist on a hunters' morn...not that I would know...trust me...), and topped by more than plenty of cream-white foam (damn, I'm glad I didn't aggressively pour this thing!). The nose comprises tart orange, tart lemon, light Brett funk, a decent amount of onion, a bit of cabbage (or something of that ilk) in the very back, and a few hot spots of pine resin here or there. Then things hit the tongue: Hoofah! a blast of Brett right in the kisser (I've gotten compliments on my work in that area...yup...), giving off a lot of blanket, some mild cobweb; there's a bit of orange behind that, along with what seems like oak or cedar or some sort of soft-ish wood. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a pretty damn dry finish, a touch on the sticky side of life (AKA the move-theater-floor side). Overall, I applaud the effort here, but I'm just not a fan of the overt and (for the most part) unrivaled Brett aspect here. It's just too much.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden yellow in color with some moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation and a moderate amount of orange + copper + amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall fizzy off-white head that slowly reduce to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of brett along with some lighter aromas of white wine, oak, and some lighter citrus fruit notes (orange and lemon stand out). Additionally there are some very light notes of melon.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of oak and white wine with some moderate notes of citrus and tropical fruits. There are moderate to strong flavors of brett which contributes the tartness/sourness to the beer.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to significant amount of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish with some acidic prickliness.

O: This beer is really enjoyable, the notes of brett take the biere de champagne to the next level... I really found this beer to have a great aroma and taste wonderful - I would gladly celebrate any number of special occasions with this beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ha! Wow! The nose on this is completely wine grape. It's awesome.

Flavor is definitely influenced by grapes as well as it gives a noticeable sweetness with a grape kind of sugar thing going on. There was a wild yeast used on this, right? Because I am getting something mildly wild on here. And I say mildly because it is so well mixed up with all of the other characteristics of the beer. I really wish Mikkeller would make more beers like this. If he had earlier on in his career, he'd be selling a lot more beers now.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is a honey orange color and has a thick, fizzy white head. Lasting retention and the tulip glass is coated with lacing. The aroma brings floral and vegetable notes, reminiscent of Cantillon Mamouche. Green peppers, plants, very vegetal. Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Hops emerge in the finish. Complex and intriguing, this is enjoyable in small quantities.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an Allagash chalice. No bottle info. Bought this about a year ago, I think.

Appearance - Much darker than I thought it would be. Deep burnt orange. Mostly hazy. Giant head that lasts forever. Thick lacing and a pillow of foam.

Smell - The wine is apparent from a couple of feet away. Strong Brett presence. Really strong. A little it of a lemony aroma, maybe from the hops. Can't tell.

Taste - Acidic Brett notes without being really tart. Earthy flavors from the yeast. Same lemony flavor, but it has a dose of bitterness. Like a lemon pith flavor. Smooths out nicely in the back with a nice malt finish.

Mouthfeel - The finish really brings this beer together. The Brett flavors linger long enough to keep it interesting but without being harsh. Medium low carbonation, but it never feels heavy.

Overall - This grew on me as I drank it. At first it's a Brett bomb, but it really comes together as an excellent beer.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color with off-white head. Aroma has nice brett notes with peach, apricot, white grapes and pineapple. Taste follows with fruit notes, slight farmhouse funk and floral yeast notes. Light, dry body with medium carbonation. Really well made, dry fruity ale.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Opened in celebration of getting our first homebrew (a Nelson/Motueka hopped saison) bottled.

Pours a thick reddish amber with a large and resilient tannish head. Looks excellent.

Smells quite dry, tart, vinous, pretty sharp sour grape/berry character, some citrus, some nice floral character too, complex and very very good.

Tastes of bright orange citrus, grape and red berries, passionfruit, dry musty flowers, nice sourness but not aggressively acidic, this is damn good.

Mouthfeel has lots of very fine and subtle carb, feels soft and dry, elegant and refreshing and pretty drinkable.

This is a phenomenal beer, has characteristics of a biere de champagne but also of a hoppy sour, like Juicy but better IMO.

9.3/10

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Photo of MasterSki
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from the first US release in mid-2011, purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Shared at the Dry Hop industry party in the accompanying taster glasses.

A - Lightly tanned foam settles to a solid cap, leaving behind plenty of splotchy lacework. Murky dark orange-brown color.

S - Very funky, with lots of tropical brett character. White wine and oak, and and some of the smokey De Proef brett flavors I get from the Flemish Primitive series. More malt sweetness than I was expecting from a Brut, but that may be due to the age. There's some light melon that could be residual from the hops but is more likely a brett flavor.

T - Taste is similar, with tropical fruits yielding to dusty and earthy brett. Some sweet caramel and fruity malts, and a lightly medicinal, smokey and leathery finish. I'm not always a huge fan of De Proef's brett, but it's more restrained here. Less oak and vinous character here.

M - Smooth, lightly dry, full in body, with pleasant soft carbonation. Chewy texture, and extremely well-hidden alcohol.

D - I was expecting more spritz and dryness, but as a funky Belgian Strong Pale this is pretty enjoyable. Probably not worth $23, but I'd love to try an extremely fresh bottle or draft sample to see how much the Nelson Sauvin hops contribute.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a champagne flute.

What a really pretty beer. Crystal clear with lively rising carbonation, some cola bubbles, but then settles to pinhead which rise very fast. The color is real gorgeous a deep orange bronze body, with hints of pinkish red it almost makes me think of rose looking at it. Head is soapy but with lots of staying power, builds nicely with speckled lacing. Truly looks sparkling, great looking beer.

Nose has that wild funk, but a nice controlled sweetness with a sense of Belgian candy sugar I am guessing. Subtle crabapple and orange tangerine. Light and airy. Almost smells like a decent fruit or apple wine, with a nice funk component. Might be some nice caramel hiding in the back it seems also.

Palate has a nice faint crispness. Hop front with a nice mix of brett like sharp pepper. Light effervescent with a hint of apricot and hop like grass. Mellow finish with all the taste seemingly in front of the palate. Little bit of wet honey, and a small sweetness on the finish. Belgian sensing sweetness is downplayed but it lets the hop and funk just really travel.

This is easily the most hop forward brut champagne beer, and the funk on this just accents it nicely. This is something really special and tasty, very enjoyable.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thorpe and I have been talking about this beer forever. Finally, beer served in a Russian River -tion glass. Beer is yellow, hazy, soft white head, small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to high carbonation.

Aroma is Nelson hops, that sort of fruity / grass / vegetal earthiness that comes along with these hops, nice, some yeast sneaks through too.

The hops in this beer are the winners, effervescent, mildly grassy vegetal hop presence with an underlying citrus sense, flavors are light and dance, finish is mildly dry. Decent beer overall. I'd have it again.

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Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from wordemupg, thanks a ton Chris! 750ml into a tulip. Best before May 4, 2021.

Reddish brown with little clarity in the body. Voluminous white head, chunky retention and webbed lacing. Nose is evidently bretty, some lemon, malt sweetness and just a pinch of the Nelson Sauvin comes through. More bretty flavour, dry wine and oak notes, malt sweetness and the Nelson Sauvin is much more pronounced. Fruity and melony, a bit funky with a bit of lemon. Really fantastic. Sweet on the palate, moderate effervescence. My first brut, and although I'm not sure if this type of flavour is characteristic of the style, I'm sold. Great complexity.

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Photo of aasher
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light bodied dark amber in color with a soapy cream colored head. It smells of 100% brett. It has plenty of Champagne yeast. It tastes dry and tart. Their is plenty of brett and wild yeasts. It's dry and funky. It's not overly complex either. It drinks light and fizzy, plenty of carbonation. It's ok. It's weird that this review is this short but there wasn't too much to say. It was solid but not worth the money.

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Nelson Sauvignon (Nelson Sauvin Brut) from Mikkeller ApS
4.23 out of 5 based on 337 ratings.
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